• Some of the links on this forum allow SMF, at no cost to you, to earn a small commission when you click through and make a purchase. Let me know if you have any questions about this.

first grinder for niece

grill_student

Newbie
18
3
Joined Jul 20, 2018
I think I finally have the ok to buy more stuff for my niece. I bought her a ton of cookware a few years back and she has been doing well with most of it (hasn't even opened the box to the Kitchenaid Pro stand mixer though sadly).

Now, I'd like to get her a meat grinder and anything else essential that goes with it. Do you have any recommendations please?

I've read here that the LEM grinder is the way to go. So, how about this one:

I see many threads recommend getting the #12 if at all possible. I have no problem getting the #12, but my niece has space limitations in her small not even 300 sq ft studio apartment. Also, who knows how much she will use this grinder (I hope a lot though). Therefore, the #8 dual grinder should be more than sufficient.

Do I need to get a cleaning kit for her? Lube spray? etc. etc. ? Is there absolutely anything else I'm missing regarding using and maintaining this grinder? I hope it's easy to clean, use, etc.

Thank you!
 

old sarge

Master of the Pit
OTBS Member
★ Lifetime Premier ★
2,449
356
Joined Nov 26, 2012
I have the standard LEM #8 and it is a great grinder ; meets all our needs. It is pretty big and heavy so is stored in the laundry room when not needed. I typically grind 15 to 30 lbs of meat at a time, mostly beef but also poultry, then vac seal and freeze. For cleaning, I soak all parts in hot, soapy water and hand wash. A brush is handy for the auger tube and pipe cleaners to clean the holes in the plates. Nothing in the dish washer. I did get the cleaning kit and can declare it pretty much useless. After 5 or 6 uses, bristles started to come off the brush. You can pretty much get what brushes you need at the grocery store. I also have a can of their food grade silicon lube spray. I have used it sparingly when I put the grinder and plates/blades away in storage.

As for the dual grind, maybe someone with a dual grind will come along and speak about it.
 
Last edited:

tallbm

Master of the Pit
OTBS Member
★ Lifetime Premier ★
4,232
1,439
Joined Dec 30, 2016
I think I finally have the ok to buy more stuff for my niece. I bought her a ton of cookware a few years back and she has been doing well with most of it (hasn't even opened the box to the Kitchenaid Pro stand mixer though sadly).

Now, I'd like to get her a meat grinder and anything else essential that goes with it. Do you have any recommendations please?

I've read here that the LEM grinder is the way to go. So, how about this one:

I see many threads recommend getting the #12 if at all possible. I have no problem getting the #12, but my niece has space limitations in her small not even 300 sq ft studio apartment. Also, who knows how much she will use this grinder (I hope a lot though). Therefore, the #8 dual grinder should be more than sufficient.

Do I need to get a cleaning kit for her? Lube spray? etc. etc. ? Is there absolutely anything else I'm missing regarding using and maintaining this grinder? I hope it's easy to clean, use, etc.

Thank you!
Hi there and welcome! A half horse power will be fine and I wouldnt go bigger because it literally gets bigger in size and in weight.
 

pineywoods

SMF Hall of Fame Pitmaster
Staff member
Administrator
OTBS Member
SMF Premier Member
OTBS Admin
Group Lead
26,552
700
Joined Mar 22, 2008
LEM makes a very good grinder mine's 15-20 years old and still running strong. That said we have a good number of members who own the Cabela's smokers and like them.
Food grade lube is something I would get for sure as for the cleaning kit as was said they are cheaply made but you need something to get the meat out of the tubes when cleaning up.
 

grill_student

Newbie
18
3
Joined Jul 20, 2018
old sarge old sarge : Do you recommend any of the accessories on this page?

I would like her to be able to make sausage, prosciutto, or any other type of meat, but I'm not sure if I should get the LEM accessories or get these items separately from a company that specializes in the specific tool referenced.

Regarding cleaning, this is the only video I could find. I'm not sure how complete it is..?

Thank you.

Edit:
I see that the LEM grinder isn't best suited for sausage making. I'm thinking I will get her this stuffer as well.
 
Last edited:

Lonzinomaker

Meat Mopper
207
70
Joined Mar 8, 2018
I have a Big Bite #5 and it does 25# pork easily. I do have a dedicated stuffer for sausage.
I would suggest you get a couple of sizes of grinder plates and a knife to pair with each plate. I think the plates and knives are like brakes. They wear in as a pair and last longer when kept as a pair.
 

old sarge

Master of the Pit
OTBS Member
★ Lifetime Premier ★
2,449
356
Joined Nov 26, 2012
I have a dedicated blade for each plate for the reason Lonzinomaker stated. If you get the LEM it will come with stuffing tubes. I would stick with that until they prove either inadequate or your niece gains sufficient experience that a stand alone becomes a necessity rather than a want.

LEM has a sale right now, the code is
SUMMER2020
in your cart.
 

grill_student

Newbie
18
3
Joined Jul 20, 2018
Regarding the knife and blade combo, I have a few questions.

1.
The #8 dual grind grinder comes with four plates (first pass grinding,second pass grinding, stuffing, coarse 3/8) and one knife. So, I buy three extra knives for each plate? Or actually, I don't think I need a blade for the stuffing plate?

2.
The #8 dual grind grinder comes with both a first pass and a second pass plate. I don't understand how this works since it is dual grind..?

3.
The spec description for this #8 dual grinder doesn't specify the hole dimensions for the first/second pass grinding plates so I'm not sure what plates they equal to in the below pdf from LEM:

Should I just get her all the following plates each with a separate blade?
- (1/8") 3mm
- (3/16") 4.5mm
- (1/4") 6mm
- (1/2") 12mm

old sarge old sarge :
That's a good point about the sausage stuffer, I just wanted to buy her as much as I can justify while I have approval from the missus.

What type of bottle brushes do you all use? Would this one below suffice?

I try to support "Made in USA" wherever possible, so if this looks to be any good, then I'll support them.

I was also thinking about this for the mineral oil:
 
Last edited:

old sarge

Master of the Pit
OTBS Member
★ Lifetime Premier ★
2,449
356
Joined Nov 26, 2012
If this were a single pass grinder, I would say get a blade for each plate, although that is my preference and one not shared with a lot of folks here. But this is a double grind/pass machine and the cutter is sharpened on both the back and front of the blade. I would just go with what the grinder comes with and adjust later on down the road after she has experience. As for brushes, they need not be fancy and the oil is ok.

One burning question: Have you discussed this with your niece and gotten her input? It is easy for me, or anyone else for that matter, to spend your money. Kind of uncomfortable.

Good luck!
 
Last edited:

tallbm

Master of the Pit
OTBS Member
★ Lifetime Premier ★
4,232
1,439
Joined Dec 30, 2016
I'm with Old Sarge on this.
Since it seems she has never ground or made sausage I would go with what is out of the box and not worry too much about accessories.
As for stuffing there is honestly no substitute for a separate stuffing machine if she is going to stuff anything smaller than summer sausage casings. I think she can probably get by with the meat grinder and it's stuffing ability to stuff the bigger fibrous castings but more then 2-3 pounds of stuffing in hog casings or castings that size or smaller will be an exercise that may make her never want to stuff sausage again lol
 

grill_student

Newbie
18
3
Joined Jul 20, 2018
I would just go with what the grinder comes with and adjust later on down the road after she has experience.
Ok, then I will just buy her all of the plates I listed above, but just stick with the blade that comes with the grinder. I think that is what you're suggesting since the additional blades I purchase will all be intended for single blade grinders and not the double grind grinder I will buy.

One burning question: Have you discussed this with your niece and gotten her input? It is easy for me, or anyone else for that matter, to spend your money. Kind of uncomfortable.
No, I haven't spoken with her about this as this is a surprise gift.

I think she can probably get by with the meat grinder and it's stuffing ability to stuff the bigger fibrous castings but more then 2-3 pounds of stuffing in hog casings or castings that size or smaller will be an exercise that may make her never want to stuff sausage again lol
Hmm, I had a feeling that might be the case. I know she will probably wants to make hot dogs, chorizo, and things like that, but I don't think it will be over 3 pounds. But I definitely do not want to make any of this difficult for her in any way. I may just have to get the stuffer I listed above.

I really wish there was an appropriate electric stuffer, but I haven't seen a high quality electric stuffer that everyone agrees on. I'm not sure the manual LEM grinder will work on her foldable table.
 
Last edited:

tallbm

Master of the Pit
OTBS Member
★ Lifetime Premier ★
4,232
1,439
Joined Dec 30, 2016
Ok, then I will just buy her all of the plates I listed above, but just stick with the blade that comes with the grinder. I think that is what you're suggesting since the additional blades I purchase will all be intended for single blade grinders and not the double grind grinder I will buy.


No, I haven't spoken with her about this as this is a surprise gift.


Hmm, I had a feeling that might be the case. I know she will probably wants to make hot dogs, chorizo, and things like that, but I don't think it will be over 3 pounds. But I definitely do not want to make any of this difficult for her in any way. I may just have to get the grinder I listed above.

I really wish there was an appropriate electric stuffer, but I haven't seen a high quality electric stuffer that everyone agrees on. I'm not sure the manual LEM grinder will work on her foldable table.
The electric stuffers are all like 10pound stuffers or higher, are giant, and cost an arm and a leg.
Now, u could buy the LEM Jerky Cannon and she could stuff a little bit of sausage like 2-3 pound batches that way but I would NEVER recommend it as a stuffer for real sausage stuffing cause it doesnt hold more than about 2 pounds of meat so it would take too many annoying loadings to do so but 2 loadings shouldnt be a problem.
Additionally its a good tool so she can make jerky from ground meat (the best way in my opinion) so that really works well with a meat grinder. :)

On LEM jerky seasonings they give directions for doing jerky in an oven and it works so no need for a dehydrator or smoker to make it. If her oven doesn't have multiple stops she can simple use a piece of wood to keep the door propped open at the "1st stop" position if the oven doesnt have a true 1st stop position.

I hope this info helps :)
 

grill_student

Newbie
18
3
Joined Jul 20, 2018
You know, I don't think any of us ever eat any kind of jerky. Nothing against it, but I thought about that when I read your suggestion and I don't think we've had jerky in many many years. I think I'll just go with the manual stuffer. Thank you nonetheless.
 

Steve H

Master of the Pit
OTBS Member
SMF Premier Member
3,977
2,715
Joined Feb 18, 2018
I would get a conversation started about her likes with cooking and see if it leads to grinding and stuffing meats without implying that you are buying anything. As for using a grinder for stuffing. I never liked that. But, it is a good way to go if you're not even sure she'll like doing this.
Washing the parts is a bit time consuming. And NEVER wash the parts in a dishwasher. It will dull the finish. Wash with hot soapy water. I prefer Dawn. For brushes, I use a long tapered one. And a round one.
P5210876.JPG
 

tallbm

Master of the Pit
OTBS Member
★ Lifetime Premier ★
4,232
1,439
Joined Dec 30, 2016
You know, I don't think any of us ever eat any kind of jerky. Nothing against it, but I thought about that when I read your suggestion and I don't think we've had jerky in many many years. I think I'll just go with the manual stuffer. Thank you nonetheless.
I understand, no biggy :)
One of the "5 pound" vertical stuffers would work but they are a little expensive. I work on 6ft blow molded resin plastic foldout tables so if she is using something like the table below then she will be fine. At Lowes the go for about $50-60 and are good buys.

HTB1Zb0kGFXXXXX6XpXXq6xXFXXXA.jpg

We havent discussed one of the most important things you need when getting a grinder. That is meat totes or luggs.
Academy order to store is about the best price you will find on them:

A minimum of 2 is like manditory. 1 to hold unground meat, and 1 to grind meat into. When one is empty you rinse it out and wipe the water and juices out and then you use it as the empty tub.
Next steps are to mix up the ground meat with seasoning IN the tub that has the ground meat (it has lots of room for hand mixing) and then you pull seasoned ground meat and put in the stuffer. As you stuff you put the stuffed sausage in the newly empty tub.
You get the idea. One is always holding, the other is getting filled.

I manage 70lbs+ of meat with 3 totes and would honestly like 4 to make doing multiple types of sausage in parallel rather than waiting for a tub to empty.

If these are too big then she needs at least one very large tupperware dish hand mixing the ground meat and then another dish or baking pan to hold stuffed sausage but honestly these things have the size they have for just this reason :)
 

grill_student

Newbie
18
3
Joined Jul 20, 2018
One of the "5 pound" vertical stuffers would work but they are a little expensive. I work on 6ft blow molded resin plastic foldout tables so if she is using something like the table below then she will be fine.
Perfect, because that is almost the exact table that she has, except her tables folds in half in the middle.

If these are too big then she needs at least one very large tupperware dish hand mixing the ground meat and then another dish or baking pan to hold stuffed sausage but honestly these things have the size they have for just this reason :)
I think those may be too big, but she can probably make due with baking pans and random pots she has.

When cleaning the grinder, will she require something to protect her hands from handling the sharp blades or is this not a problem to worry about?
 

bregent

Master of the Pit
OTBS Member
★ Lifetime Premier ★
1,566
575
Joined Mar 1, 2014
If she already has a Kitchenaid stand mixer, why not consider the meat grinder attachment for it? That will certainly save some room compared to a dedicated grinder. I make 8-10lbs at a time and that's all I ever use.
If I were making 20lbs or more, I'd consider the bigger dedicated unit. If she's only making 3lbs at a time, that would be overkill.
 

grill_student

Newbie
18
3
Joined Jul 20, 2018
bregent bregent : I definitely did look into that attachment, but ultimately decided against it. The reason is a lot of multipurpose tools I seen do different jobs poorly and the consumer is better off in the end by going with a dedicated tool designed specifically for the task at hand.

In this case, I checked Chowhound and other food forums and the general consensus is the KA grinder attachment is very slow and no match for a dedicated grinder. It also emits some type of grey ooze which is enough cause for concern to keep me away.

Nevertheless, I will openly admit that it's overkill and despite the above consensus, many readers still suggested the KA attachment for my particular situation because it's cheaper. I don't think that matters though, because it's a gift to my niece and one that I hope she is able to use for many years. Getting her one of the best grinders and stuffers on the market hopefully will enable her to enjoy this experience so much that she will become an instant fan and cook me all sorts of goodies all the time! I always have my fingers crossed that this is end result!
 

tallbm

Master of the Pit
OTBS Member
★ Lifetime Premier ★
4,232
1,439
Joined Dec 30, 2016
Perfect, because that is almost the exact table that she has, except her tables folds in half in the middle.


I think those may be too big, but she can probably make due with baking pans and random pots she has.

When cleaning the grinder, will she require something to protect her hands from handling the sharp blades or is this not a problem to worry about?
Grinder disassembles into parts and the blade is not like a knife blade so she will be fine. Now she needs to know that the metal used may look stainless steel or chromed but may not be so if she puts in the dish washer she may get a dull grey filmy piece of metal that comes back out so if not stainless or chrome it will be hand wash. The stuffer should be machine washable.. well the parts that disassemble and are not the stand/gears.
 

Hot Threads

Top Bottom
  AdBlock Detected

We noticed that you're using an ad-blocker, which could block some critical website features. For the best possible site experience please take a moment to disable your AdBlocker.